Oporto and Berlin-based design collective Moradavaga recently built Swing – an awesome low tech energy-generating public art installation in Portugal. Simply by swinging on the swings made with rudimentary materials such as wooden pallets and hemp rope, users generate energy that is then used to power lighting under the floor.
Commissioned as part of the Pop Up Culture program promoted by Guimarães 2012 – European Capital of Culture, Swing demonstrates that it doesn’t take a lot of technology or money to devise uncomplicated solutions to complex problems. A bicycle attached to each swing is attached to a wheel that activates a dynamo with each movement. This in turn switches on a light below.
The mechanics are hidden in a foundation of wooden pallets at the base of the installation, which is currently standing outside the International Center for the Arts Jose de Guimarães. Just one of many pop up installations scattered throughout Guimarães as part of the Pop Up Culture program, including the funky centipede cinema made of locally-sourced cork, Swing pays respects to the city’s long industrial heritage. The installation will close on Nov. 16, so be sure to head down if you can.